Cross River Opposition Parties at Loggerheads Over Imoke’s Health

In Breaking News, National News, Reports

by crossriverwatch admin

Governor Liyel Imoke
Governor Liyel Imoke

Opposition political parties in Cross River State are at loggerheads over what position to take in the protracted wait for the return of the ailing governor of the state, Senator Liyel Imoke.

The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties CNPP which is supposed to be the umbrella body of all the opposition parties, in a statement from the state chairman of the group, Mr. Cletus Obun threatened court action if the governor does not return within two week.

In a February 12, 2012 statement to crossriverwatch, Mr. Obun who is also the state chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN said, “It is over ninety days now, the state is comatose, the state is grounded. And we are very petrified that no one wants to ask questions. We will go to court to seek an order of mandamus to compel the House to perform its duty and get this acting governor, in the real sense to act as a governor. After over ninety days of the governor’s absence, anyone who truly cares about the state should begin to ask for explanations rather than keeping quiet and allowing the state to stay grounded.

“There is nothing wrong that the governor went on leave and fell sick there. That is quite natural. What is unnatural is the fact that a number one citizen of a state goes on leave with tax payers’ money and they have made it a secret. Why has it become a secret? That we should not know that our number one citizen is sick? That this is where he is?

But in his reaction, another opposition stalwart, Dr. Theo Onyuku, the governorship candidate of the now de-registered Hope Democratic Party, HDP in the last governorship election, the party dissociated it from the comments of the CNPP.

The statement reads: “We write to dissociate ourselves from the comments of the CNPP, Cross River State over the absence of Governor Liyel Imoke the governor of Cross River State on health grounds. Our stand on this premise is clear. The governor is currently facing a medical challenge in the USA and we ask everyone irrespective of your political leaning and beliefs to pray for the recovery of the governor.

“We as a people must come together in prayers and supplication asking God Almighty the omnipresent and omniscient, the greatest healer and number one physician to restore the governor’s health and grant him the quickest healing and recovery.

“This is our prayer for the governor. We implore all rational men and women with conscience to always remember the Cross River State Governor in their fervent prayers during this moment of enormous challenge to our state and her leadership for God in his infinite mercy to grant the governor miraculous and incomprehensible healing”.

The Congress for Progressive Change, CPC in the state had earlier taken a cautious position on the matter and warned the political class against creating the impression that they were happy with the unfortunate ill health of the governor.

In a statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Barrister Obono Obla to crossriverwatch, the party urged politicians not to allow politics, sentiments and morality to sway and influence or becloud them.

“We must not allow politics, sentiments and morality to sway and influence us or becloud us. We appeal to members of the political class to exercise caution and restrain and be patient. We appreciate the anxiety and interest shown in the matter by the people of Cross River State. The matter is undoubtedly a matter of public interest because the Governor is elected by the people in exercise of their choice of who governs them.

“We must not become rancorous or agitated unnecessarily because the law has foreseen such eventuality and has laid down the procedure to be followed. There is an Acting Governor already in office; that means Governor Liyel Imoke was very conscious and mindful of what the Constitution says before he took leave and traveled to the United States of America to attend to his health”. Part of the statement reads.

Meanwhile expectations are very high in the state that the governor will return this week. An advance team of officials and members of the state assembly have been in Lagos for over a week in anticipation of the governor’s return.

Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Larry Odey is said to have visited the governor and he is expected back along with him.

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